Ohio Valley Candidates Share Their Thoughts During Event

Candidates for Ohio County magistrate, prosecutor and assessor addressed voters Wednesday at the weekly “Penny for Your Thoughts” forum sponsored by the Ohio County Republican Party.

Present were Joe Roxby and Desiree Lyonette, Republican nominees for magistrate; Worthy Paul, Republican nominee for prosecutor; and Sharon Zelkowski, Independent candidate for assessor. The forum took place at the Ohio County Republican Party headquarters at 2139 Market St.

Zelkowski said she worked in the assessor’s office as a transfer deputy for three years before resigning to run for office earlier this year.

“I decided maybe it was time for me to move on and use my skills in a different way,” she said. “I went out and looked for a job in terms of oil and gas title research.”

She has a background in working with attorneys and title companies first during the foreclosure boom, “and now the oil and gas boom,” she said.

“As I was looking for another position, I thought, ‘I can do this job,'” Zelkowski said. “My skills are perfect for this job.”

Lyonette is a lawyer licensed in Ohio, but not West Virginia. Her practice has focused on mediation and juvenile law.

“I want to be able to use these skills in West Virginia,” she said. “This is where I live.”

She said her family ties to the area go back to the 1800s, and she plans to stay in Ohio County.

Roxby is presently serving his first term as Ohio County magistrate. Prior to being elected to the job four years ago, he worked 25 years as a Wheeling police officer. He said he now sees himself as a first-responder in the judicial system.

“We are the emergency room of the judicial system,” he said. “You should be (in the magistrate’s office) when that place is busy. It very much has that tempo. … There’s a lot of legal triage going on. That’s what I bring to it. I will treat the cases with the urgency they deserve. We’re going to treat them like a first-responder with a sense of urgency.”

Paul has served as assistant prosecutor in Wetzel County for 11 years. He focuses on misdemeanors, as well as more serious crimes involving juveniles.

“Everybody has to have their niche, and believe it or not I think I’ve become an expert in prosecuting crimes against children. I would have never seen myself doing that. … What’s come out of it is I have a good rapport with children,” he said, noting there is a sense of satisfaction in helping a child.

The next “Penny for Your Thoughts” forum is set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Ohio County GOP headquarters, and Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Raese is scheduled to attend.